Jasmine tea is a green tea scented with jasmine blossoms. The combination makes for a tea that is both aromatic and packed with antioxidants. There are a very few downsides to drinking jasmine tea. But some people experience side effects linked to jasmine tea caffeine and other compounds in the tea.
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About Jasmine Tea
Jasmine tea generally has a green tea base, but it's also made with black and white teas. The tea becomes infused with the jasmine scent by either placing jasmine blossoms and the tea on top of each other in alternating layers or mixing the tea with the blossoms and storing them overnight.
Jasmine tea leaves come with all the health benefits associated with green tea, including preventing serious illnesses. That's because green tea is packed with polyphenols called catechins. Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds researchers consider to be very powerful antioxidants that can lower the risk of some types of cancers, heart disease and diabetes.
There's also evidence that catechins in green tea have the potential to prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. However, the authors of "Beneficial Effects of Green Tea Catechins on Neurodegenerative Diseases" published in the May 2018 issue of Molecules concluded that additional research is needed to support these claims.
Jasmine Tea Side Effects
Jasmine tea is a great way to get a healthy dose of antioxidants, but it does have side effects. Some of the most common come from jasmine tea's caffeine content. The Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day. Consume more than that and you could experience symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, upset stomach, nervousness and restlessness.
A cup of jasmine tea contains on average about 25 to 40 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. To avoid some of the side effects of too much caffeine, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends drinking 2 to 3 cups a day. That amount is also enough to get the optimal amount of polyphenols for health benefits. Exceeding that amount could lead to side effects from jasmine tea caffeine.
People who have anemia may want to limit their intake of jasmine tea. According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, people who are anemic may want to limit green tea intake because it could keep the body from absorbing iron.
Too much tea, then — especially green tea — can put some people at risk of becoming anemic and exacerbates anemia if you're already anemic. Jasmine tea can also make some medications less effective or increase the side effects of those medications.
Jasmine Tea vs. Green Tea
So what's the difference between jasmine and green tea? Both teas are essentially green teas, so they're both packed with the same antioxidant benefits. There are two important differences, however. One is how they taste. The second is a compound found in the jasmine tea plant that's showing promising results for potential cancer therapies.
In a February 2014 study published in the International Journal of Cell Biology, researchers took a closer look at methyl jasmonate, a compound in the jasmine plant, as a promising cancer treatment. By looking at several types of cancer cells, they discovered the compound can induce cell death and inhibit their growth. While more studies are still needed, jasmonates have shown they can induce the death of cancer cells.
Green tea tends to have a more bitter, stronger flavor. While jasmine tea has a sweeter and smoother flavor, making it easier for some people to drink. Jasmine tea also has aromatherapy benefits, including stress relief and mood regulation.
Read more: 12 Foods That Can Improve Your Mood
In general, jasmine tea is a good way to get the benefits of antioxidants, but because it has caffeine, some people may experience side effects from drinking too much. One way to avoid those effects is by drinking herbal jasmine tisane which is a caffeine free version of the tea, but with the same aromatic effects. People with chronic conditions should consult with their doctors about the effect jasmine tea could have on their health or interact with medications.
- Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity: "Plant Polyphenols as Dietary Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease"
- Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry: "Recent Advances in the Understanding of the Health Benefits and Molecular Mechanisms Associated With Green Tea Polyphenols"
- Antioxidants: "Phenolic Profiles and Antioxidant Activities of 30 Tea Infusions From Green, Black, Oolong, White, Yellow and Dark Teas"
- Molecules: "Beneficial Effects of Green Tea Catechins on Neurodegenerative Diseases"
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?"
- Mayo Clinic Healthy Lifestyle Nutrition and Healthy Eating: "Caffeine – How Much Is Too Much?"
- Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology: "Green Tea – A Boon for Periodontal and General Health
- University of Maryland Medical Center: "Green Tea"
- Clinical Case Reports: "Iron Deficiency Anemia Due to Excessive Green Tea Drinking"
- European Journal of Applied Physiology: "Sedative Effects of the Jasmine Tea Odor and (R)-(-)-Linalool, One of Its Major Odor Components, on Autonomic Nerve Activity and Mood States"
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Iron in Your Diet"
- International Journal of Cell Biology: "Methyl Jasmonate: Putative Mechanisms of Action on Cancer Cells Cycle, Metabolism, and Apoptosis"